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Author's Note

As I believeBoneshakerspremise makes clear, this is a work of fictionbut Ive always enjoyed including local landmarks in my novels, and this one is no exception. However, let me take a moment to assure you that Imfully awareof this books particularly grievous and shameless warping of history, geography, and technology.

My motives were simple and selfish: I needed a Seattle that was much more heavily populated in my version of 1863 than real lifes version of 1863. And so, as the first chapter explains, Ive accelerated the Klondike gold rush by a few decades, and thus swelled the citys ranks exponentially. Therefore, when I speak of thousands of rotters and a large urban area having been evacuated and sealed, I speak of a population of some 40,000 souls, not the mere 5,000 or so that history was unkind enough to give me.

As some of you local buffs are aware, Ive also ignored a couple of major turning points in Seattles development: the 1889 fire that destroyed most of the city and the 1897 Denny Hill regrade. Since both of these events took place well after the events of this book (which transpired in 1880), I had a fair bit of leeway when making up my version of Pioneer Square and its surrounding blocks.

For references sake, I used a Sanborn survey map from 1884 to make sure that I loosely, generally followed the likely lay of the land, but heaven knows I went off the rails a bit here and there.


Assuming a much earlier, much bigger population base, it is not altogether outside the realm of reason that some of Seattles landmark buildings mightve been under way in the 1860s, before the wall went up.

Thats my logic and Im sticking to it.

So theres no need to send me helpful e-mails explaining that King Street Station wasnt started until 1904, that the Smith Tower wasnt begun until 1909, or that Commercial Street is really First Avenue. I know the facts, and every digression from them was deliberate.

At any rate, thank you for reading, and thank you for suspending your disbelief for a few hundred pages. I realize that the story is a bit of a twisted stretch, but honestlyisnt that what steampunk is for?

Epilogue | Boneshaker |